05/03/2004 12:00AM

Olympian still dangerous


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Olympian will launch his 2004 campaign in Wednesday's fourth race, a five-furlong dash for $25,000 claimers that has lured seven other older runners.

The first Wednesday card of the Woodbine meeting contains seven races rather than the usual eight, because of a shortage of entries. The card includes a pair of $25,000 optional claimers, one for maidens and the other for nonwinners of two.

Olympian, a rapid 7-year-old gelding by Olympio, has banked more than $400,000 since owner-trainer John Cardella claimed him from a runaway maiden triumph in the fall of his 2-year-old season. He captured a division of the Grade 3 Play the King Handicap on turf in 2000 and finished first in the 2001 Kennedy Road Stakes, only to be disqualified and placed second because his rider's whip struck an opponent.

Olympian set Woodbine's five-furlong track record in capturing his 2001 season opener in 56.07 seconds, winning the $100,000 optional claimer by 6 1/2 lengths. The mark stood until April 2003, when Jack and Emma covered the distance in 55.95 seconds.

Olympian has lost a step or two over the last two years. He was campaigned mainly in the middle claiming ranks in 2003, winning just once in eight starts, although he looked like his old self when he took a $40,000 claimer by a widening five lengths in November.

David Clark, tied for leading rider at Woodbine with nine wins from 35 mounts, retains the mount on Olympian, who will break from post 1.

Lining up outside Olympian will be Sidekick, Provisional, Gold Glory Won, Imarealfancydehere, Crown's Justice, Thats the Problem, and Supreme Judge.

Jim McAleney, tied with Clark atop the jockey standings, will ride Provisional for trainer Steve Attard. A lightly raced 5-year-old, Provisional is jumping up sharply in class off a front-running second-place finish in a $12,500 conditioned claimer.

Thats the Problem was a wide fourth against $50,000 foes when he returned from an extended layoff April 25. He probably needed that race, has an excellent five-furlong record, and should be prominent from the outset.

Trainer Scott Fairlie sends out the entry of Supreme Judge and Sidekick.

The late-running Supreme Judge was claimed from his most recent outing, on Nov. 22, for $16,000.